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n. pl. Cath·a·ri (-ə-rī′) or Cath·ars
A member of a Christian sect flourishing in western Europe in the 1100s and 1200s, whose dualistic belief, embracing asceticism and identifying the world as the creation of a satanic Demiurge, was condemned by the Church as heretical.
[French Cathare, from sing. of Medieval Latin Catharī, from Late Greek Katharoi, from pl. of Greek katharos, pure.]
Cath′a·rist adj. & n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n, pl -ars, -ari (-ərɪ) or -arists
(Christian Churches, other) a member of a Christian sect in Provence in the 12th and 13th centuries who believed the material world was evil and only the spiritual was good
[from Medieval Latin Cathari, from Greek katharoi the pure]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014